Gmail's Sender Contact Form: What and why?

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Did you know? Google has a "Sender Contact Form" for Gmail, previously known as the bulk sender contact form.

What is it? It's a way for you to ask Google to reconsider their Gmail filtering decisions for your emails, to give them more information and contact information, hopefully allowing them to improve their spam filtering and perhaps allowing them to reconsider putting your mail in the spam folder or blocking it.

Why should you do it? Because every little bit helps. In almost all cases, it will not garner a response, but Google says that they do review all submissions. In some cases, this will cause them to help improve your ability to get mail to the inbox -- my understanding being that this submission does create an internal ticket in their system that will be reviewed by the right people.

There are caveats to keep in mind here:

  • This is not a fast process. Not only does Google specifically say that they will not respond, they warn that it could take a couple of weeks to see any improvement -- if Google agrees that improvement or adjustment is warranted. And no, there is no escalation or bypass process available to senders to speed things up.
  • There's no status update or followup process to confirm if this process helped to improve things. All you can do is measure your inbox placement and deliverability rates both before and after. Keep an eye out to see if things improve after two weeks.
  • This process is not a substitute for sending email correctly. Broken authentication, failing DKIM or DMARC, sending unwanted mail or mail with very low engagement, these are all things that will impede your ability to get messages delivered to the inbox. Asking Google for help is not going to help, if you have an obvious (to them or to me) "best practice" sending problem or technical configuration issue. Your mail has to be technically correct and entirely desired -- there's no way around that.

Even keeping those limitations in mind, I have seen this process help improve delivery and inbox placement at Gmail for some senders. So, I do suggest that you (or your deliverability consultant) should submit a sample message to Google via this process, whenever you're working on troubleshooting a Gmail deliverability issue.

(And if you are troubleshooting a Gmail deliverability issue, why not check out the Spam Resource Deliverability Guide to Gmail? You might find it useful.)

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